Can anyone offer any advise/tips please

My son is 18mths old and has suffered with asthma since he was 7mths old. He has been struggling for the past month - cold weather seems to be one of his triggers. He finished a double course of oral steroids 2weeks ago, he hadn't significantly improved so antibiotics were then prescribed for a possible chest infection. He has finished these and the GP has confirmed his chest is now clear however his cough will not go away. He has quite a chesty cough but also a dry cough he is coughing during the day and at night. He is also wheezing on/off during the day. His preventor inhaler has been increased and he has also been on atrovent 3 times a day for over a week along with his blue inhaler as and when. Yesterday it was atrovent then 2hrs later salbutamol and so on. He is also on the singulair sachets each day. The doctor has said it is too soon to prescribe any more steroids plus he has had quite a few doses since his asthma started so they are quite reluctant to give them to him - which I understand and agree with. I don't know much about asthma other than what I have researched myself, the general support and advise given to us is pretty much non existant. Does anyone have any advise or tips that might help me? Should I be giving so much medicine in a day with little or no affect? I feel like a fish out of water and just need some support and advise from somewhere. Thanks.

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  • Hi Nicola

    I hope that your son is a bit better now. It's very hard to give advice especially as your son is so young. But I would keep going back to the GP if your not happy. Does your surgery have an asthma nurse - if so ask to see them - they should be able to spend more time going through inhaler technique etc. Also talk to asthma nurse on this site i found them really helpful when Ollie was first diagnosed - spent ages talking and she didn't go until she felt i was sure of what we'd discussed. Also send off for leaflets on this site - they are really really good and easy to read.

    I know it's hard initially - we weren't given any advice when ollie first got inhalers as a baby - were'nt really told how to use them or when to stop/start again. We only really got good advice and shown how to use them when we were in hospital last year. I know it sounds silly but for us as awful as stays in hospital were for all of us it really helped us learn how to manage Ollie's asthma - we were able to pick up tips from dr's - nurses etc - some good some bad - from all that info we came up with a plan that suits us all. We're not experts and Ollie's asthma is still a bit dodgy but we've managed this winter with only a quick visit to hosp. That said he is on 2nd course of ABiotics and steroids but only with a very bad cold/virus.

    It's really hard with little ones as they can't tell you when they feel ill and they don't always show that many symptoms. My son never wheezes (or rarely) our main sign is a cough mainly at night - he gets drawn around the eyes - and his skin gets quite dry (don't know why). Serious signs for us are when he starts to suck in his skin around his ribs and breaths using his neck muscles - we always see or speak to a dr when he does this - if none are available then we go to A&E.

    If you are at all worried about your son's asthma then always seek medical attention - don't ever feel that you shouldn't worry them - it's their job and with little ones it's always better to ere on the side of caution. We've been to A&E several times and have always been treated quickly and nicely. After a few problems at GP surgery (which resulted in a major rant and meltdown) we now get seen by preferred GP if he's there straight away. This has really helped as Ollie's asthma can go from fine to needing to be hospitalised in a couple of hours - this has saved us being admitted this year.

    Does your son see a consultant/respritory specialist? I'd ask GP for referral - it may help to get things sorted.

    I do know that this time last year there was a very bad virus going around where we are (we ended up in hosp for 7 days) and that bad virus doing the rounds this year - we've avoided hosp for now - Ollie's had cough/cold/virus for about month and half now - he's not reallybeen 100% ok for ages.

    I know it's hard but try to look out for your son's triggers (even if they seem really small or silly) - then discuss with your GP ways of avoiding meltdown - we've found that learning how and when to step up/down Ollie's meds has really helped to keep his asthma under better control.

    Sorry for the long ramble!!! I don't do 'short'

    Take care and i hope things settle down soon. Feel free to send me a message anytime.

    Claire

    x

  • Thanks so much for you reply Claire. Things got worse last night and we had the emergency doctor out at 3am. Aaron's breathing was quite fast and he was breathing with his tummy muscles and sinking in around the ribs/top of stomach. He was in pain as he kept crying out and the chesty cough was terrible. As is always the case though he had significantly calmed down when the doctor arrived. It turns out that he has a pneumonia. He is at home as we have caught it early enough to treat without having to admit him to hospital. Last time he had this he was admitted and extremely poorly so I am just glad I went with my instincts last night. He's alot better today the calpol/nurofen are keeping him settled but his breathing is still up and down. Fingers crossed the new anti-b's will start to work and we should see an improvement over the next few days.

    I always take him to the GP when he starts to breath with his tummy/ribs and neck as you said but the GP's never seem overly concerned as he's always such a happy fella they say he's fine and not to worry unless his lips go blue which I would have thought would be crisis point and surely much better to seek medical attention earlier?

    The consultant he is under at the hospital said he was fine at his last review (october) and not to go back until April but I think I'm going to request his appointment is brought forward and also make an appointment with the Asthma nurse.

    Thanks again for your reply and useful advise it's just so hard to know what to do for the best. I'm so glad I found this forum/site. I've learnt one thing - never to worry about causing a fuss or over-reacting and just to go with my gut instinct and seek medical attention whenever I think it's necessary.

    Hope your Ollie's virus/cough clears up soon and he's feeling better - I hate it when little one's are poorly xx

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